Sources at SEPTA inform us that the transit agency will launch its previously announced pilot program to operate the Broad Street and Market-Frankford lines all night on Friday and Saturday nights in the overnight hours (12:30 to 5 a.m.) of Sunday, June 15th. From then through September, instead of Night Owl buses, riders can catch a train home from a night of revelry in town — something riders and Center City boosters have been clamoring for over the last few years.
Here’s how the overnight service will work:
- Trains on the Market-Frankford and Broad Street lines will operate at 20-minute intervals between 12:30 and 5 a.m., with trains in both directions on each line timed to meet at the 15th Street/City Hall transfer point with a 10-minute offset between lines. In other words, riders who need to transfer between the Broad Street and Market-Frankford lines in either direction will have to wait no more than 10 minutes for their connecting train.
- All subway and elevated stations will be open all night, but not all stations will have cashiers at the turnstiles. At unstaffed stations, riders will pay fares to the conductor on board the train before they can enter. Fare payment at staffed stations will take place in the normal manner. The busiest stations, including the terminals and 15th Street/City Hall, will be staffed. SEPTA will keep track of boarding activity at stations and make staffing adjustments as needed as the pilot progresses.
- SEPTA Transit Police will have extra officers on duty on the rapid transit system during the hours Night Owl trains are running to provide extra security for riders.
Night Owl bus service will not run when the trains are running.
"We're very excited to be able to offer this added convenience and more travel options for those traveling in the overnight hours," said Smith.
Subway and elevated riders will no doubt be equally excited.
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